Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Customized Web Design Makes A Lot of Difference

Blogging? Maintaining a website for your business or planning to create one? I think the most important thing when planning to create and launch a blog or a website is to give it your own personality and unique signature. These are essential if you want to stand out among the countless other sites on the internet. A particularly good web design helps to distinguish your blog or website from others, giving it its own identity and personality. 

There are lots of ways of customizing your web page. You could play with the headers, the sidebars, the fonts, the background colors, even the way you manage ads if you are running ads on your website. Of course, your website should not look cluttered and should be easily readable. Most readers like web pages that are easy to navigate and will not mislead or redirect them to other sites so this is also essential. A page the easily loads when opened for the first time is also a factor. I wouldn't want to wait for a few minutes till a web page loads. I would prefer a page that loads in a few seconds. 

All of these, a little bit more hardwork and an updated website will surely help you to gain readers and traffic to your site.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mommy Moments: To The Groceries

My daughter enjoys going to the groceries. Our apartment is just four floors above a grocery store and my little girl loves going there. She anticipates operating the elevator. She knows exactly which button to push and which door to open although she cannot open the basement door by herself. 

She also loves to ride in the plastic car grocery cart that we usually use when no one else is using it. She would just sit there and enjoy the ride while I pick up the items that we need for the day or for the week. I could sometimes hear her talking to herself in her own baby language or saying "Hallo!" to the other customers who find her very adorable and cute and sweet. Sometimes, she would get out of the mini car and will pick up some of the items that she is familiar with and put it in the car. 

But alas, I have no photos of her at the groceries because well, I just don't bring any camera with me. Except perhaps for this one time when we went to Strasbourg, France at a large grocery store called Cora to buy seafoods and other stuff.

I know that when she is older, I could trust her to buy the groceries for me. I also know that the time will come when she wouldn't want going to the groceries with me anymore. So I try to enjoy every minute of shopping with her. It's a great way to bond with my little girl and I am also able to teach her that she can't always get everything that she wants. I tell her NO if she wants chocolates or some ice cream and explain to her that it's not on our grocery list.

mommy moments

Moving Houses

In a year or so, whether we go back to Japan or stay here for good, I know that we are bound to purchase some new home furniture to be used by the whole family. We didn't buy any furniture piece yet because we know that we are still to be relocated somewhere. Besides, our present home is already furnished so there really wasn't any need to purchase anything. 

There are of course lots of furniture designs, from the kitchen to the living room, down to the bedroom, office and bathroom, available in the market today. I guess most of you know how drawn I am to home furniture shops and how fond I am of collecting brochures of home furniture and interior design. The designs I have collected vary from rustic furniture to contemporary design to classic designs and my mind is a bit confused on which piece to really purchase. 

A part of me wants the rustic look, with its natural and relaxed feel. The OC in me wants the minimalist contemporary style while the romantic in me wants the classic design with everything looking chic and shabby. But I know that I should also consider the other members of the household when picking out our future furniture pieces. Perhaps I could do a mix of the different interior designs to show our different personalities. And perhaps, I might achieve the look that I want.

The Emo In Me

If you ask me if I am emotional person, indeed I am. It has become both a boon and a bane to me. A boon because I am able to handle some things in a mature way and I am capable of empathizing with others. My being emotional is also sometimes a bane because I sometimes cannot hide my emotions, I can be too transparent especially if I am angry, hurt and something displeases me. My Hubby keeps telling me that I am a moody person. You could just imagine how crazy and mad I make him to keep him guessing about how I am feeling and how crazy he must be driving me because I always have to appear as if nothing is bothering or wrong with me. Haha!

I am the third of four siblings and growing up in poverty has made me understand that life is not always easy, that you have to be responsible and diligent and resourceful in order to succeed in life. Although I am the type of person who wants to see things done right there and then, I have learned the value of patience and waiting. Although I am a very persistent person, I am also a very patient one. What a contradiction, huh?

I am also very sentimental person. I tend to keep things that reminds me of a simple date or a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway such as train tickets, admission tickets, receipts, brochures, letterheads, pens, etc. that is taking a lot of storage space at home when stored and accumulated. While Hubby thinks of them as junk, I see them as treasures. And they can prove helpful too, especially as evidence. Hehe!

This is my late share for this week's Girls Talk theme: I LOVE ME Emotionally. More emo brags over at Kaye's Beauty Queen Gene.

Girls Talk

Some Thoughts on Going Back to School

In less than two months, I will be taking another step further in terms of my education. I will go back to school and study for two years in a field that I know will prove useful and helpful a few years from now. Many of our friends here have been asking me when I will start at the university and I told them it will be in September. They all wish me well and good luck and I am happy for their support.

Deep inside though, I am scared. I am afraid that I am not completely ready to take on another responsibility. I know that I will have to give up something in order to go to school and I hope that what I will be giving up will be worth it. I am afraid to fail the expectations of my hubby and family and friends and especially my expectations of myself. Just thinking about the countless paperwork that I will be writing and need to submit on time, makes me wish that I could just buy essays as easy as one, two, three. But I know that such is not always the case. It's good to know though that I can find instructions on how to write a family essay and persuasive essay should a professor require me too. 

What I am more afraid about is the time that I will missing on my little girl's development. We have already arranged to send her to Kindergarten while I am away at school but I am afraid that studying will eat up most of my free time even after university hours. We are also planning to have a vacation in the Philippines next year and I am not sure if I will ever have some breaks because I was told in the email that most professors give exams in between school breaks.

With all my worries and fears, I am still hopeful for good things to come. Let's just hope that good luck will smile down upon me.

TCP Themes for August

In a few days, we will all be bidding our goodbyes to July and saying hello to August. It has been quite a rather quick yet fun month for me as your host for this movie meme, Tuesday Couch Potatoes and I hope that you enjoyed participating in our weekly themes despite my misgivings, inadequacies and tardiness as a host.

So we are going to start another month of TCP beginning next Tuesday. We are going a bit international as we explore and feature movies from different parts of the globe and without further ado, here are our themes:

August 3: Koren Dramas
Movies take a back seat as we make way for something that has kept us glued to our seats and kept us awake the entire night. Yes, I know you love Korean dramas so if you know of a Korean movie or a TV series, share it with us this week! 

August 10: It's A Greek Thing
Have you seen any Greek movies lately? Nah, it need not entirely be in Greek, as long as the movie contains something Greek-ish in it, such as location, customs and traditions, even mythology.

August 17: Favorite American Movie
So we all love American films. What's your favorite then? Share it with us! It could be a romantic comedy, drama, adventure, sci-film, action, you name it, you can share it.

August 24: Something New
What's the latest, newest movie that you have seen? Did you watch it on the big screen or on DVD? Were you disappointed or did it exceed your expectations? Share with us what you think about it. And add some interesting punchlines too!

August 31: A Filipino Movie
I am curious if you ever watch our very own local Filipino films. If so, what types do you watch? What do you think about Filipino films in general? Have you seen anything interesting lately? Or are you looking forward for a new movie to be released? Now's your chance to brag about the Philippine film industry!

So that's our five themes for the month of August! Looking forward to your entries Couchers! Have a great weekend everyone and see you all again next month for Tuesday Couch Potatoes!

The Old Small Towns

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a person with the lust for wandering and traveling, I have seen the stark difference between a sprawling urban area and an old small town. Development and commerce is concentrated in the city center, while the old towns left in an atmosphere of the olden days with the cobblestone streets and some ruins. It is a beautiful scene but something is wrong with it. Much of the old small shops in these small towns are closing down. And although I live in a big city, I prefer to live in its suburbs. There is just something nostalgic and romantic in living in it. The people seem more cheerful and cordial. The neighborhood is quiet and safe. The children can just play outside the house without any fear.  have also seen many quaint shops closing down because people prefer to go to the city center to purchase items. And I feel a bit sad because I have always preferred an old town quiet living and feel it a shame to just see those little businesses go, the very heart of any small town's existence.

Growing up, I learned that in order to flourish and succeed, one must patronize one's very own local products and remember one's heritage. And I think Rambler's Way's commitment to revitalizing America's small towns is a great idea to helping these small towns regain their former glory. When I was growing up, I always have a high respect for labels having the Made in America mark and always use them with pride, because it means quality. Now I know that it is more than just quality. That mark also represents the very fabric of America's existence.

Visit my sponsor: Made in America

What A Relief!

When my beloved and ever reliable PC suddenly died out on me a few days back, I thought that was the end of my online job a.k.a blogging career! I was helpless for a few days, worried about all the photos and videos that I have stored in my hard drive, and felt unconnected. I was becoming restless, and hubby, seeing me "distraught" tried everything in his powers just to resurrect it. And we all know that he succeeded and I am happy, no, grinning from ear to ear again because obviously, I am now back online and clicking on my keyboard away!

It was indeed a relief! Things are back to normal, at least for me. Lol! So what did I do while I was "jobless"? Well, I managed to clean and vacuum our sofa, from the inside out. I unearthed retrieved from underneath it lost puzzle pieces, a freebie plastic fan, colored pens, my missing souvenir pen, my little girl's Old McDonald Had A Farm book, some hair elastic bands, and a few months worth or accumulated dust. I also managed to get our little office cum play room organized. Hubby even joked that I could get a lot of work done with my computer kaput. Yes, for two long days, I thought that I accomplished something, as a homemaker at least. Lol!

And the best thing is, all my files are intact.So right now, what's keeping me busy is cleaning up my external hard drive so that I can move other important files into it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Make Decorating Fun With Themed Bathroom Accessories

So you're planning to redecorate your bathroom. Maybe you're tired of the run-of-the-mill neutral colors the room was likely designed with, but you don't know what to do about it. Is it really necessary to paint the room and change the tiles to get some color in there?

Absolutely not. You can make your bathroom look like a new room with very little effort by taking the focus off of the actual construction and putting it onto your bathroom accessories. Most people have mismatched bathroom accessories -- soap dispensers, toothbrush holders and shower curtains that are bought individually as needed. While they serve their purpose, they look, well, mismatched. Don't ignore them, though -- bathroom accessories, even the little ones like shower curtain rings, can all be a part of your decorating.

Consider decorating your bathroom with an overall theme. To theme something is to make all parts of it match; themes express your personal tastes, and can add fun and color to any room. Decorating a bathroom to match a theme is particularly easy, since there are so many bathroom accessories that you can buy that go together. Bathroom accessories that are theme-friendly include shower curtains, shower hooks, toilet seat lids and lid covers, bath towels, soap dishes, hand soap dispensers, wallpaper, tissue box holders, toothbrush holders, wastebaskets, tumblers, bath mats, shampoo bottles, shaped soaps, and even toilet brushes.

There are an amazing variety of themes available, too; so many, in fact, that choosing one is as simple as picking one of your favorite things, looking it up and buying it. Some popular themes for bathrooms are the beach, butterflies, frogs, wild mustangs, camping, tribal artwork, kittens, tropical fish, sports cars, Victorian style and holidays. You can decorate to a theme more subtly by using a particular color scheme, such as shades of blue, or your favorite print pattern.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Family Reunion in Rome

We're off to Rome the second time around this September. It's a sort of a family reunion on Hubby's side of the family because both siblings, Hubby and his brother, and their families and their parents are going to be together on a holiday after about six years of not seeing one another. We did saw hubby's brother last Christmas but seeing them ALL together is a very rare occasion because of the geographical location.

What better way to celebrate that family reunion than in Rome right? And we have already booked our rooms at a holiday park resort some twenty minutes away from central Rome where we can relax, chill and have some much needed family bonding. With the crazy traffic rules in Italy, and the likewise crazy drivers, staying at the city center can be very difficult. Plus, a safe, secure and cheap parking area is a rarity.

En route to Rome, we will also be stopping by Pisa, Italy. I for one have been itching to take photos of the famous leaning tower. I know that the other family members will enjoy it too! So I have to save my energy for that vacation because it is going to be a long drive.

The Notre Dame de La Garde

When we visited Marseille, France a few weeks back, we didn't expect its amazing beauty until we visited the Notre Dame de La Garde, a Romanesque-Byzantine basilica towering on the highest point of the city at 147 meters or 482 feet above sea level. This city landmark was built in the 19th century. Locals affectionately call it Bonne Mère (good mother) and it is topped by a 9.71-meter (32ft) gilded statue of the Blessed Virgin who is said to bestow protection on fishermen out at sea.

The mosaics are particularly beautiful and the crypt offers a silent refuge for pilgrims. We arrived in time for the 10:00 am mass and it was a very solemn one. The numerous ex-votos, votive offerings to the Virgin, hanging in the nave bear witness to the pilgrim's faith and thanksgiving. It is on this same church when Karol Wojtyla, the future Popr John Paul II came here to pray to Our Lady in July 8, 1947.

The site also affords a magnificent views of the city spread out at its feet, and of the bay, with the Frioul archipelago in the distance. The site is easily reachable by car or by bus. There is no admission fee to this holy place, and offers only priceless and valuable photographs and memories and a rich experience for the pilgrims and tourists alike.

New Office Chairs and Then Some

Last year, we purchased some office chairs for our little office room where I will be doing all my online and offline work. These chairs were on sale and they looked sturdy and the designs were cool and so we thought of buying them. But it hasn't been a year yet when they went kaput! And so now I am in need of better, good quality office chairs that will last a lifetime. 

So now, I am looking for a good Office Furniture store that offers more than just cool designs but of good quality as well. I also need some office shelves and some office organizers as I have got some paper files and documents now piling up and clamoring for my attention. I want them organized and segregated into separate folders and categories so that I won't have a hard time digging up for them when me and hubby need them. Most often than not, Hubby gives me some important documents from work and he would ask for them every now and then. Sometimes, I just don't know where I filed them or I forgot that they were even in my possession and I would argue about it. The truth is, I just lack the organization in my so-called office. 

I hope to get myself organized before I start school in September. Otherwise, it will be too late for me with me going to the university and all that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

TCP 49: LOTR Return of the King

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the July 27th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. So this week's week them is Slightly Historic, Slightly Epic. There have been many movies made which have a historical sweep, visual grandeur, and some heroism, however crazy or ultimately unsuccessful.These epic tales of great adventures are what has kept me glued on my seat and had me wanting to watch for more. If you are a lover of this genre, I know that you would be able to name more than just one film. So come and join us this week!

My pick will of course be from my favorite trilogy of all time: The LOTR The Return of the King. It wraps up the LOTR trilogy perfectly well, both in the movie and the book, and did not fail my expectations. In this part of Frodo's journey, he is now entirely corrupted by the Ring yet he marches still to Mordor to destroy it, with the aid of Sam. The Ring hisses louder in his ears, the world is falling to the shadow. Sauron, the Dark Lord, moves to strike the city of Minas Tirith, the heart of men, in the most spectacular and huge and amazing battle in cinematic history.

The final chapter in the Lord of the Rings is easily, in my mind, the best one. It wraps up the monumental story perfectly, and is not afraid to deal with the dark subject matter. This film holds back no punches, and watching the innocent Frodo move ever deeper into temptation is horrifying. But it is also beautiful, and shows that even in the most horrible and infested places, still there is beauty, and still there is hope.

With great music, great acting, phenomenal special effects, and a story second to none, I can say that the best epic movie of all time is this: the Return of the King. 

One of the unforgettable quotes from the film: "A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight!"

What's your movie for this week? Come share it with us today by entering your link in the linky below:

So next week is another month for TCP. For August 3, our theme will be: Korean Dramas. Thank you all for participating weekly in Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Till next Tuesday, take care and Happy TCP!

Weight Loss Updates

So I have been going on and off the fitness studio for more than a month now and so there's not much change in my weight. If you are going to ask me if I have lost any weight, my answer would be a big NO. I know I should be going back to the fitness studio for my own sake. Also, the fitness studio debits a certain amount from our account whether we hit the studio or not so might as well make the most of it.

But exercise is not enough they say. Perhaps I should pair exercise with some weight loss protein shakes for me to achieve the desired results at a much lesser time. But at the rate I am going, I know it will take much more time before I could regain my old weight. Perhaps when I go back to school in September, I will also lose some weight. What with all the sleepless nights and the studying and juggling between school and Sam's kindergarten and home. Just thinking about all the things that I will be doing is already telling me that I am bound to lose weight soon. And just thinking about all my tasks is making me dizzy already. Will I be able to pull it all off? Whew!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mommy Moments: At The Park

My little girl loves to go out. Each time she sees me or anyone in the family changing clothes or putting on shoes, she would yell "shush, shush!", grab a pair of shoes that she sees first and will insist that you drop whatever it is that you are doing and put them on her feet! She especially loves to go to the park because she can run about freely and she can discover lots of interesting things. Every park has a playground too so that's her most favorite part. And now that she can already recognize things and has her own preference, chances are she would end up crying because she doesn't want to leave the playground just yet.

After getting some freebies at Jako-o, a famous toy store here.

Her first try at painting using water color. Hubby was surprised to see that she knows 
what to do with the brush. So proud of my girl when Hubby showed me her two artworks!

Trying out the toy bikes. She doesn't know how to use the 
pedaled ones yet so she opted for the "sit and push".

Our latest visit to the park was last Sunday. After church, we dropped by Schlossplatz because it was Familientag (Family Day). There were lots of booths from the many family-oriented establishments and businesses in our area and there were lots of freebies given away too. My little girl got to try lots of activities for children until she got all moody because she wanted to try riding the toy tractors but she couldn't because nothing was available. It was a hot Sunday and well, we all lost our tempers so we just opted to go home and had some rest. 

Continuing the afternoon at Killesberg Park. 
Taken at one of the many flower gardens within the park.

She is such a poser. This is one of the many photos that Hubby 
took when she was goofing in front of the camera.

This was a shaky little bridge but she wasn't afraid to cross it! That's my girl!

This turning thing fascinated her. I forgot how it's called but it was fun but nakakahil
especially if you are the one pushing and turning.

We continued our visit to the park after the little girl has taken her afternoon nap. When everyone was in a good mood again, we headed to Killesberg and there we continued to enjoy the summer heat and the greenery.

Do you enjoy going to the park with your kids too? What fun activities do you do at the park? Find out what other mommies and their kids are up to in the park!

mommy moments

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Call Center Business

There are lots of call centers mushrooming in developing countries like the Philippines lately. Probably because labor is cheap, and Filipinos can speak English fairly well. I even have some friends who have put up a call center business of their own and have been very curious as to how it works.

Then I found out about IVR or Interactive Voice Response, which is used to partially or full automate incoming calls. Remember how you would sometimes call customer service for a mobile phone company or an online store and would like to make some inquiries? You usually hear an automatic response right? Then you get to push some buttons before you reach the right department. That's how IVR usually works. It makes things more efficient and allows a business or even an organization not to miss calls.

So if you are thinking of putting up your own Call Center Business, IVR is one of the things that you need to know. It eliminates the need for a receptionist and in turn helps reduce operating costs.

I Am A Christian!

Oooppsss!!! I did it again! I am late again for my GT entry for this week. No appetite to blog lately.. Hehe! Blame it on sheriff? Hahaha! Just kidding.

Anyway, this week's theme is: I Love Me, Spiritually.I am a practicing Catholic and not afraid to proclaim that I am one. I am not a perfect person though and I still make mistakes, make the wrong turn at times, and sometimes doubt my faith. I was educated in a Catholic University in college and the retreats and recollections I have attended allowed me to renew my faith and reflect on my spiritual well-being... this in turn drew me closer to my God. I am just lucky that my Hubby is also a religious person and that we share the same faith so that our beliefs do not clash. The Filipino communities that we belong to here also have religious affiliations in the Catholic Church so that it was not difficult to get along with them and adjusting became easier.

Prayer is an essential part of our day and we oftentimes start the day by saying the rosary. Sundays is church day, and in almost every new place that we visit, we see to it that we get to visit a church and hear mass or light a candle. When I was still single, I also got a chance to work as an assistant Campus Minister and share my faith with high school students by facilitating recollections and retreats. I also listen to religious music from time to time to give myself some quiet time. I also read spiritual books and the bible every now and then and volunteer and participate in church activities to share our talents with others.

So I guess that's about it for this week's GT. How about you? Do you consider yourself as a spiritual person?

Girls Talk

Personalize Your Number Plates

As you zoom around in your vehicle, you can tag your personality or pay homage to something special in your life with a personalized plate. Number plates have been required in the United Kingdom since the turn of the 20th century. Meant to protect your identity in the event of an on-road incident, your plate tracks your place within the national registry. The format and size as well as other aesthetic components of the plates are mandated by law, but your choice of numbers can be mandated by you.

Excluding the letters "I" and "O" due to the chance of their being misread as the numbers "1" and "0" respectively, your options are endless when it comes to choosing characters for your registration plates. Whether it's your child's birthday or your area code affixed to your favorite number, your unique choices can be displayed for all to see.

Auctions are held each year that transfer plates to the highest bidder. These online auctions are accessible each day much like other electronic auctions. Participating in these auctions is a great chance to obtain a plate that fits your interests, even if you want one that follows the old standards of tagging vehicles with their model year on the plate.

Online portals allow prospective registrations to be entered to view availability. You may enter the letter/number combination of your choice and you will immediately be notified if it is available, and if not, a generated list of available alternatives will be displayed for your choosing.

A lot of websites will take care of the lengthy paperwork as long as you provide the necessary details to legally transfer a plate into your name. On the other end, if you wish to sell your plate, a simple online registration is required so that you may list your plate for sale.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer and Loving It!

It's already summer here and although I complain about the heat, I can't deny the fact that it means travel time for us. The days are longer here and with the sun still very high and blazing at five in the afternoon, I always take my sunglasses with me. I am not much of a wearer but the sun's glare really hurts so that I had no choice but to wear one. Last year, we really had to purchase a pair for that reason. I remember trying out Designer Sunglasses too but they just don't the shape of my face so it was kind of tasking. Hehe!

Another thing I love about summer is that I can wear my normal clothes: jeans or capri pants and shirts and slippers. Summer also gives me an excuse to buy some skin care products to prevent my skin from being damaged... (as if it is isn't damaged as it is.) and some summer clothes too! I have been eyeing some summer dresses but I keep holding back because I might not look good in them. Lol! So much for my fashion makeover this year!

Monday, July 19, 2010

TCP#48: Anywhere But Here

Hello there Couchers! Welcome to the July 20th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes, where we feature one movie each week. Our theme for this week is Road Films or Road Movies. These are films in which the plot takes place during a journey. There are lots of Road Movies out there, waiting to be discovered and based on the list I found here, I am only able to watch a number of them.

My pick for this week is Anywhere But Here, a 1999 American drama film starring two of my favorites: Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Based on the novel by Mona Simpson, the movie is about a mom who got fed-up with her small-town existence and decided to leave her husband for a new life in Beverly Hills. She brought along with her her daughter, Ann, a quiet no-nonsense realist. Ann resents the move and her mother's always flamboyant behavior and in turn plans to get away to university on the East coast. But her mom's plans are different - she wants a movie star for a daughter. After failing in many respects, Adele accepts her daughter's plans and helps her in the end.

This movie has lots of good lessons to give and some very common mother-daughter scenes too. While it is true that mothers know best, sometimes we have to keep an open heart and an open mind for what our kids really want in their life. After all, they also have minds and lives of their own.

What's your Road Film? Come share it with us this week. Please enter the link to your TCP entry in the linky below:

That's it for this week's edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Hope to see you all again next week for Slightly Epic, Slightly Heroic movies. Thank you for joining us this week Couchers! Till next Tuesday, take care and Happy TCP!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Got Teens?

It is a fact that as we grow up, our hormone levels also change, preparing our bodily systems for adulthood. One manifestation that our bodies are changing is through the growth of hair in some body parts. We also observe a change in the voice and the appearance of Adam's apple among teenage boys and menstruation in teenage girls. Another most common sign is the sudden outbreaks of pimples or acne on the skin, especially on the face.

I was lucky when I was growing up because I did not have so much outbreaks or skin problems. If you are a mother to teenagers, especially girl teens, I know that you would often hear them complaining about their face. More often than not, you would hear them screaming because a pimple or acne has suddenly grown on their face or that their face is way too oily or too dry. It's good to know that there is now skincare for teen agers that will help prevent breakouts and maintains healthy, glowing skin during those very unstable hormone days.

This new skincare line for teenagers is called clean start. It is especially designed for teenagers and formulated for various skin types: oily skin, sensitive skin, prone to breakouts skin, or just constantly changing skin. An easy addition to your teenager's daily morning and night routine, the eight dual action helps the skin get clean, takes on the issue and protects the skin.

The Vieux Port

View of the Old Port from the Basilica of Notre Damede La Garde. Fort St. Jean is visible in this photo.

The Old Port (Vieux Port) or old harbour is the reason for Marseille's existence. It is overlooked by the Old Town and two 17th century forts. Do you know that a ferry crosses the port throughout the day?

The Vieux Port's entrance is guarded by Fort San Nicolas and Fort St. Jean. It is home to some 3,000 boats and is the heart of Marseille. To tour the old port, one can start on the quai (quay) de Rive Neuve where the  the La Criée stand, Marseille's most famous theater built in 1909 on the site of the old fish auction rooms, thus the name. The Place Thiars, a lively square dotted with dozens of restaurants and bars, which is an ideal meeting place to meet for an al fresco evening during the balmy summer months, can also be found here. 

The impressive facade of the Hotel de Ville (town hall).

Then one can take a couple of minutes trip cross the harbour on an old wooden ferry, the oldest of its kind in France to the other side, quai du Port, to take a peek at the impressive 17th century Hotel de Ville (town hall). From there, walk up towards the quai des Belges, where the famous fish market takes place in the morning. There you will have the best view of the Canebière, the most famous street in the city, and the subject of a popular song.

The mini sightseeing train has two routes. The first route goes up to the 
Basilica of the Notre Dame de La Garde and the second route to the Old Town.

Hubby was pointing out to Samantha where she was born: A white island with a red circle at the center.

There are lots of interesting things to be found here like this globe whose countries are marked by their flags. The mini sightseeing tour train also starts at the Old Port. A fee of €7 per person for Route No. 1 and €6 per person for Route No. 2 is charged accordingly.

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